There’s always something exciting about seeing a new beer style enter the arena. Sunday Road’s Vacation Rental is a cold IPA and the brewery believe it’s “one of the first to be brewed here on Australian turf”.
For those of us without technical brewing knowledge, here’s a working definition of the style: a cold IPA brings together the light, clean, crisp body of a lager, and marries it with the punchy, intense, bitter hop character of an IPA. It uses lager yeast and New World hops, it ferments colder than an ale, and it’s all about being super easy to drink while remaining super flavoursome. Crush it and discuss it.
For those interested in the nuances of the cold IPA style, the brewing process, and how it differs from a dry-hopped lager or India Pale Lager, you might like this article from one of the pioneering brewers of the style.
After winning points straight up for its alluring can design, this beer pours a light gold that’s clear as anything. Sunday Road have used only HopBurst Cryo hops – Ekuanot, Sabro and Amarillo – to make sure maximum aroma sticks around, and the first sign of this comes in the faceful of fresh melon and florals you get when you approach it.
It’s bright and zingy on the tongue, like honeydew melon squeezed with lime juice. As my drinking partner said: “There’s a bit of a party in the mouth. Bit of a mouth party.”
This mouth party invites a little resin bitterness and alcohol flavour halfway through, with a touch of earthy bitterness and a fraction of coconut character showing up right at the end.
Vacation Rental certainly still drinks like an IPA, with some nice malt body and Sabro silkiness making for a smooth texture… but it’s not chewy. It’s slender, and certainly hits the mark on drinkability, but it’s not thin. The alcohol isn’t absent, but it’s a welcome friend rather than a gatecrasher.
I’ll leave it to those with brewing expertise as to whether "Cold IPA" is a new style or just an IPL by another name. But, as my good friend Bill says: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
- Cold IPA
- 45 IBU